17 February 1918|
Fort Edward, New York
|Died||22 February 1999
Hudson Falls, New York
|Notable awards||National Book Award
Life and work
William Bronk was born in a house on Lower Main Street in Fort Edward, New York. He had an older brother, Sherman, who died young and two older sisters, Jane and Betty. William attended Dartmouth College, arriving there at the age of 16, and after graduation spent one semester at Harvard.
Bronk served in World War II first as a draftee but later, after attending OCS, as an officer. He was discharged from the Army in October 1945 and started teaching English at Union College, Schenectady, New York. He left Union in June 1946 and returned to Hudson Falls. There, during the later half of 1946, he completed work on The Brother in Elysium. In January 1947 Bronk took over management of the Bronk Coal and Lumber Company which he had inherited when his father died unexpectedly in 1941.
After his one semester of graduate school at Harvard, Bronk “decided I couldn't take any more of that.” He taught English at Union College. After his father died in 1941, he decided to return to the family business temporarily. He ended up staying more than 30 years. He retired from the business in 1978.
Bronk said that the poems were created in his mind as he went through the business of the day. When one was ready, he put it on paper, working in longhand rather than at a typewriter. As his manuscripts attest, he seldom rewrote, or even modified, a poem once written on paper.
William Bronk died Sunday, February 22, 1999.
- Light and Dark, Origin Press, 1956, 2nd edition, Elizabeth Press, 1975.
- The World, the Worldless, New Directions, 1964.
- The Empty Hands, Elizabeth Press, 1969.
- That Tantalus, Elizabeth Press, 1971.
- Utterances: The Loss of Grass, Trees, Water: The Unbecoming of Wanted and Wanter, Burning Deck, 1972.
- To Praise the Music, Elizabeth Press, 1972.
- Looking at It, Sceptre Press, 1973.
- A Partial Glossary: Two Essays, Elizabeth Press, 1974.
- The Stance, Graywolf Press, 1975.
- Silence and Metaphor, Elizabeth Press, 1975.
- Finding Losses, Elizabeth Press, 1976.
- The Meantime, Elizabeth Press, 1976.
- My Father Photographed with Friends and Other Pictures, Elizabeth Press, 1976.
- Twelve Losses Found, Grosseteste, 1976.
- That Beauty Still, Burning Deck, 1978.
- Life Supports: New and Collected Poems, North Point Press (San Francisco, CA), 1981. —winner of the National Book Award
- Light in a Dark Sky, William Ewert, 1982.
- Careless Love and Its Apostrophes, Red Ozier Press, 1985.
- Manifest; And Furthermore, North Point Press (San Francisco, CA), 1987.
- Death Is the Place (poems), North Point Press (San Francisco, CA), 1989.
- Living Instead (poems), North Point Press (San Francisco, CA), 1991.
- Some Words (poems), Asphodel Press (Mount Kisco, NY), 1992.
- The Mild Day (poems), Talisman House (Hoboken, NJ), 1993.
- Our Selves (poems), Talisman House (Hoboken, NJ), 1994.
- Selected Poems, selected by Henry Weinfield, New Directions Publishing (New York, NY), 1995.
- The Cage of Age (poems), Talisman House (Hoboken, NJ), 1996.
- Life Supports (poems), Talisman House (Hoboken, NJ), 1997.
- All of What We Loved (poems), Talisman House (Hoboken, NJ), 1998.
- Some Words (poems), Talisman House (Hoboken, NJ), 1998.
- Metaphor of Trees and Last Poems, Talisman House (Hoboken, NJ), 1999.
- Bursts of Light: The Collected Later Poems, Talisman House (Hoboken, NJ), 2012.
- The New World, Elizabeth Press, 1974.
- The Brother in Elysium, Elizabeth Press, 1980.
- Vectors and Smoothable Curves, North Point Press (San Francisco, CA), 1983, new edition, Talisman House (Hoboken, NJ), 1997.
- William Bronk Biography
- New York Times obituary
- William Bronk’s Path Among the Forms essay by Thomas Lisk at Jacket Magazine site
- Neither Us nor Them: Poetry Anthologies, Canon Building, and the Silencing of William Bronk essay by David Clippinger at The Argotist Online
- 36 Poems read by William Bronk audio-files at "PENNsound" site, recorded in Hudson Falls, New York on October 13, 1978.
- Obituary @ Electronic Poetry Center includes remembrances by Robert Creeley and Burt Kimmelman
- William Bronk Exhibit at Modern American Poets website
- An Interview with William Bronk
- William Bronk Papers 1908-1999 archived at Columbia University
- The Poetry Foundation's William Bronk Exhibit
- Modern American Poetry
- "William Bronk in New York : Harriet Staff : Harriet the Blog". The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- "POETSWEDNESDAY & More: Call For Papers on William Bronk". Wednesdaypoet.typepad.com. 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- "William Bronk in New York". Burtkimmelman.com. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- "A Faithful Account of Where I Live: The Letters of Cid Corman and William Bronk". Emilydickinson.org. Retrieved 2012-06-10.